Landscape views are impressive, but focusing on the little things can really make you appreciate the beauty of nature. Head outdoors and make the most of wildflower season in NSW national parks. Right now it’s the perfect temperature for going on a wildflower walk and with these macro (or extreme close-up) photography tips, you’ll brighten up your Insta feed as well as your mood.

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    Think about the lighting

    The Golden Everlasting flower (Xerochrysum bracteatum)

    The Golden Everlasting flower (Xerochrysum bracteatum)

    Mid North Coast, NSW

    Noah Strammbach

    Sunny days may be perfect for enjoying a nature walk in a national park, but they’re not so hot for shooting wildflowers. Finding the right light is super important—too much will overexpose the photo and not enough will cast harsh shadows on your subject. Try for a bright but overcast day, or take your photos just after sunrise or later in the afternoon when the sunlight is a little softer.

    The Spider flower (Grevillea)

    The Spider flower (Grevillea)

    Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

    Noah Strammbach

    Wildflower spotting tip: Head to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to see the Spider flower (Grevillea), with its distinctive bright pink or red flowers.

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    Choose the right angle

    The Flannel flower

    Getting creative with angle of the Flannel flower

    Worimi National Park

    Noah Strammbach

    -32.78503, 151.99551

    Try to choose a focal point and fill the frame with colour, but don’t worry too much if the edges are out of focus. This will draw the eye to the middle of the photo. Get creative with your angles and look for lines or shapes that can run diagonally through the photo. Practice makes perfect, so try to take lots of photos of the same plant, because there is almost always a perfect angle.

     

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    Wildflower spotting tip: The Flannel Flower walking track in Bouddi National Park overlooks the coastline and is covered in pretty white flowers during spring.  

    Did you know? Tea tree flowers also bloom in spring. The plant’s leaves were a favourite among English settlers, who used them as a substitute for tea.

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    Find the right model

     

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    It’s all about the talent, right? Same goes for nature photography. Look around and find the right plant or flower—one that isn’t damaged or blowing around in the wind. Tiny details like raindrops or insects can make your photo even more special, so look closely before you start shooting. Don’t forget to think about the background too. It should contrast with the flower without being a distraction.

     

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    Wildflower spotting tip: Billy buttons are known as woollyheads, because of their golden, globe shaped flowers, which each sit on top of a delicate stalk. They are found in dry forest, grassland and alpine regions such as Kosciuszko National Park.

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    Capture it quickly

     

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    A fast shutter speed will freeze the image and capture it without any blur (also handy for windy days). Try for an aperture speed of f4-f8. You don’t need any fancy equipment to shoot wildflowers, although if you’re serious about upping your photography game, there are apps and lenses for your phone or camera that will let you go full macro.

    Wildflower spotting tip: The Wonga wonga vine can be found in Cape Byron State Conservation Area and features stunning purple-tinged flowers that bloom over spring and summer.

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    Leave no trace

     

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    It goes without saying—make sure you don’t pick any flowers or plants in national parks, step on them or disturb the ground around them. They may be homes for tiny creatures or have a fragile root system. Enjoy their beauty and snap away, but stay on the walking track so they can be enjoyed by other people and animals in the future. Remember to leave no trace.

    Wildflower spotting tip: The spectacular Gymea lily has flowers that reach up to 4m in height and is only found along the Sydney coast and surrounding bushland, such as Dharug National Park.

    Did you know? Wildflowers and native plants are a protected species in Australia, so don’t be tempted to pick them.